Atrocious and disproportionate attacks on vulnerable Gazans continue day by day, hour by hour. The world watches helplessly as hospitals, schools, and other civilian facilities are targeted by Israel claiming their military actions are carried out against terrorist militias and infrastructure.
Is it any wonder that demands for a ceasefire grow, and billions of people around the world take to the streets to demand Ceasefire now! Stop the genocide! End the occupation!
Civilians on the ground in Gaza – hospital patients, babies in the neo-natal units, the vulnerable, frail, elderly, and hungry – cannot wait a moment longer for a ceasefire. More than 12,000 are already dead in Gaza as Israel continues to act with impunity.
A vote in parliament on 17 November, saw 56 Labour MPs defy the Labour whip to support a ceasefire, including 10 who resigned from shadow posts to do so. The 10 join Imran Hussein MP who resigned from the shadow team last week, and others who signed Early Day Motion 1685, Protecting civilians in Gaza and Israel sponsored by Richard Burgon MP on 17 October.
Labour Mayors have spoken out for a ceasefire, so too Labour Councillors, National Executive Committee members, and other Labour office holders. Labour CND commends their courage and sends our solidarity.
On the morning following the vote, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey claimed: ‘we are acting in these very difficult circumstances as if we were in government.’ Together with tens of thousands of party members, Labour CND wants Labour in government to uphold international law and be part of a positive solution to this crisis.
Hours after John Healy made his statement in support of Keir Starmer, school students marched in east London to tell Rushana Ali MP to supports a ceasefire. Days before the vote, Lambeth party members held a vigil at the constituency office of Helen Hayes MP calling for her to support a ceasefire, while trade union members blockaded a BAE systems arms factory in Rochester demanding no arms sales to Israel. BAE systems is a main supplier of parts for US F-35 fighter jets which are flown by Israel. These are just three examples of hundreds of actions taking place across Britain.
Labour CND agrees with the UN, Oxfam, Save the Children, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, 89% of Labour voters, trade unionists and school students, and with the 56 Labour MPs and Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Claudia Webbe, and the hundreds of thousands of people who keep marching on the streets of Britain: humanitarian pauses are not working, they are no alternative to the demand for a ceasefire.
Like all the people who are taking action, Labour CND wants a Labour government that acts ethically, upholds international law, and recognise what is already evident to the majority of the world: there is no military solution to this long-enduring Israel-Palestine conflict.
This Tory government has no mandate and no morals. Labour must break with bipartisan policy on Gaza. We must have a ceasefire now.
17 November 2023